Since 1970, the Telegraph Herald First Citizen Award has honored and celebrated men and women who have given of themselves to serve their community and make the Dubuque area a better place in which to live, work and play.

Recipients have been philanthropists, volunteers and servant leaders. In the case of the 2020 First Citizen Award recipient, Judy Wolf is all three.

Anyone who has ever been involved with a fundraiser alongside Wolf knows she brings a wealth of skills to the table. There’s the accountant’s head for numbers, the savvy of a practiced events-goer to know what might make a fundraiser work better and the caring heart of a woman motivated by helping the most vulnerable in our community. Together, those skills drive this passionate volunteer to take on more each year.

Like running a day care center to serve downtown. And doing that work as a volunteer. And then running that center in the midst of a pandemic. Throughout the challenges of 2020, Wolf was steadfast in her leadership and willingness to serve.


Wolf says that once she gets involved with a local organization, and she sees the difference the group is making in the community, it ignites her passion for working even harder. There’s a life lesson in that for anyone able to serve. The rewards are plentiful.

It was nearly one year ago that we mourned the passing of another First Citizen Award recipient: Sister Helen Huewe. As a staunch supporter of the Steeple Square project, Sister Helen became an inspiration to Wolf. No doubt Sister Helen would be proud to see Wolf continuing to carry the torch she ignited and to see this honor bestowed on Wolf today.

For her tireless commitment to making this community a better place — giving selflessly of her time and talent — we are proud to add Judy Wolf’s name to the Telegraph Herald First Citizen Award honor roll.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.